Being as I was an atheist for almost half of my life, I think I have an inside track to answering their questions. Atheist tend to be skeptical. Even things which can be proven are questioned. So I don’t waste my time trying to prove anything. I simply question all there beliefs. We have solid evidence which they can disbelieve if they want to. All they have is opinions.
Now we know that our faith is a matter of faith. That is, it is a matter of Divine Revelation which assists reason to understand Supernatural matters. Faith and reason do not contradict. But Faith is greater than reason. Jesus said, “You believe because you see, more blessed he who believes and yet has not seen.”
[quote=Asimis] Claim: The Pope is infallable when he speaks for God.
Fact: There is no litmus test to verify this claim.
I would answer, there is none. Or if there is, you will have to wait til you die and meet your maker to find out.
Claim: Jesus passed the Church to Peter who passed it to…
Fact: Unverifiable and unreliable. There is no direct testimony from Jesus about his intentions…only what others wrote about him decades after the fact.:
Actually there is. The Gospels. Yes the Gospels were written decades after Jesus spoke the words. But are you sincerely requiring more direct evidence than eyewitness testimony. To have more direct evidence you would have to be there yourself.
And another thing:
No, there is not. All Christian sects claim the following: Sole authority on the Word of God.
False. The Protestant sects mostly agree that they don’t have sole authority on the Word of God.
On the other hand, the Catholic Church believes and can prove from Scripture and Tradition that it was given the sole authority to interpret and teach the Word of God infallibly.
Miracles that “validate” the faith. Visions that are often shoehorned to fit events (see the Fatima “prophecies”).
There are pictures and documents by skeptics and atheists who converted because of these events. You should study them yourself.
Many atheists today accept the fact that these events occurred and dismiss them as Extra Terrestrial encounters or UFO sightings but they refuse to give them the true significance revealed to the visionaries themselves.
Healings. Reams of documents that are classic examples of circular thinking. The only thing that differentiates the Catholic Church from Rev. Fred’s Tabernacle of Christ is the length of its history and dogmatic details. From a purely objective perspective, there is no solid evidence of any one version of faith being better than any other.
Actually there is. The problem is that you refuse to accept the evidence.
The only one committing circular thinking here is you. I don’t believe it because I can’t believe it because I can’tt see it. It all comes back to “I”. But the world was here long before you came into existence and you didn’t bring it into existence nor did you bring yourself into existence.
How would you refute this?
I would start at the beginning and ask questions of my own.
My favorite tactic with an atheist is to ask “if the world wasn’t created by God, then who created it?”
Normally they’ll say it happened by random actions, accidents.
So, I’ll be more specific. “you mean that no intelligence went into conceiving your hand and how it works. I’m not even taking into account every single cell in your body, of which there are millions.”
Normally they’ll say “no, it was random.”
then I’ll ask them if any intelligence went into making their shirt or their watch, whatever they have on or whatever they are driving.
Normally they’ll say “yes” a man’s intelligence.
Then I’ll ask which is more intricate, that which was created with no intelligence or that which man’s intellegence made.
Normally, there will be no answer or some befuddled answer to which I’ll respond, "you are a greater believer in miracles than I am. Nothing from nothing brings nothing. If God didn’t create the universe, then the universe wouldn’t exist short of a miracle and what a miracle.
end of conversation.
Remember, I was an atheist and familiarity breeds contempt. When it comes to atheists like myself, the following Scriptural warning applies, “Do not throw your pearls to swine, they do not want them and they will end up by attacking you.”